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Miller unconcerned with outside shooting woes

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Darius Miller is shooting 46.1 percent from the field in spite of hitting just 24.2 percent of his 3-point shots. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Darius Miller is shooting 46.1 percent from the field in spite of hitting just 24.2 percent of his 3-point shots. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
Darius Miller is not used to seeing his shots from 3-point range miss.

Along with Doron Lamb, Miller was Kentucky's most consistent threat from outside a season ago, hitting shots from deep at a 44.3-percent clip. Sure, he had the occasional mini-slump here or there, but nothing like the 8-for-33 (24.4 percent) struggle he's had through the first 10 games of his senior season.

Miller doesn't mince words when evaluating his 3-point effort so far in 2011-12, but his blunt self-evaluation doesn't mean he's lacking any confidence.

"That's terrible," Miller said. "I definitely need to pick that up but it's going to turn around. I'm not worried about it."

His stroke looks no different and he still defeats Lamb in the five-minute shooting drill John Calipari mandates at the end of many practices, routinely hitting as many as 65 3-pointers in the short time span.

The explanation for his troubles could be as simple as a small sample size and bad luck with a reversion to the mean quickly to follow, but Miller does notice one subtle factor he needs to address.

"I think I'm kind of rushing it a little bit instead of taking my time and shooting it," Miller said. "I think I kind of rush my shot and try to hurry up and shoot it. I just need to take my time getting it off."

Fortunately, other aspects of Miller's offensive game have not suffered along with his outside shot. In evaluating him statistically, Miller is a better offensive player almost across the board. He's shooting a ridiculous 27-for-43 (62.8 percent) from inside the arc and is on pace to set career highs in free throw attempts, assists and offensive rebounds in spite of playing almost seven fewer minutes per game than a season ago. If Miller's outside shot returns to form, he could join Lamb as UK's most efficient offensive threat.

In Miller's mind, it's just a matter of time before that happens.

"It's definitely not mental," Miller said. "I'm still comfortable with my shot and, like I said, I think I'm just rushing it a little bit. I need to take my time and shoot my shot."

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